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India variant could lead to serious third wave of Covid in UK

Analysis: If B.1.617.2 proves highly transmissible, hospitalisations could peak again, models show * Coronavirus – latest updates * See all our coronavirus coverage It was all looking so good. After a brutal second wave in the winter, the lockdown combined with the swift rollout of vaccines forced infections, hospitalisations and deaths down to levels not seen since last summer. The vaccines performed better than expected, not only in preventing deaths, but in hampering the spread of the virus. Scientific advisers were confident about England’s cautious roadmap back to a life more normal: the worst, it seemed, was over. Now, those same advisers are deeply worried that the new variant of concern from India, B.1.617.2, could undermine the hard-won achievement. The government strategy has been to ease restrictions as vaccines reach more people, aiming for a delicate balance that opens up society while preventing another wave that overwhelms the NHS. Continue reading...

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